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B A L L P E E N ( ! ) B U L L E T I N S

updated: September 18th, 2007


vv "Epic Fits" CD / LP / 1st Edition Metal Box CD!
- and info on their October USA tour!
vv "A Journey Through Roman's Empire" CD!
vv - Minimalism set on "Heavy" - plus injury report!

vv Touring together - and look who's sitting in with MIM!
vv Mammoth USA tour - plus info on the next album!
vv Entire pressing of illegal split 7" to be destroyed!?!

Salütes Sound Seekers ( ! )
SKiN GRAFT's Ace Reporter, "Jazzy" Joe Romita here with another staggering summary of the frankly phenomenal feats fathered at the famed fount of flabbergast... the forever favored, far-from faddish, far-flung frontiersmen of the fashionable Fort SKiN GRAFT!!!! Face front, frenzied ones!!!!

Hello Hepcats, Howdy Hipsters! Pull up a seat and pull up those pants, its time once again for a parade of positively pointed postings from your self-proclaimed prince of problematic pop, profusely peppered with plenty of persuasive ponderings and practical postulations pertaining to a pair peerless platters of particular prominence (!) - a pair plainly pressed in hopes of turning a paltry profit. You guessed it - it's time to get the gab on the goose-pimple giving goodness of the new long-players from none other than PRE and ATHLETIC AUTOMATON!

Point your peepers down a line or four, where press magnate Charlie Nite has penned a powerful piece of prose pertaining to our pals PRE:

Born in a basement, based in London, the first outing of PRE had the entire audience locked outside, watching through barred windows from above. To the assemblage up top, it was clear that these five noise sprinkled nu-wavers had already figured it out - sound moves quicker in high pressure.

In the months that followed, PRE's rhythmically infectious skip-alongs were demonstrated on a flurry of releases. The band's debut 7" EP "Treasure Trails" caught ears by surprise and wouldn't let go. A rash of vinyl came in quick succession, pairing the band up with acts like
AIDS Wolf, Dmonstrations, Bardo Pond, and Comanechi.

And now, weighing
14 songs and coming in just over 20 minutes tall, "Epic Fits" will be born on September 18th. Recorded in a chilly pizza storage unit with Westminster Brown at the controls, PRE's full length is cold sweat caught on two inch tape. Those initial moonbeams shining through the barred basement windows have been caught - meticulously sliced and diced - and reflected back in a brilliant, buoyant strobelight. Guitar, bass, bass, drum and moon shriek: PRE make the noise jump.

o "Gonzo punkers PRE are well on their way to superstardom. Like Karen O on a cocktail of narcotics, crazy lead singer Keeks Matsuura screeches alongside messy metal guitars with an energy that'd make duracell proud." - NME

o "Akiko only wears underwear on stage. When she comes on at first, she seems a little vulnerable in her minimal clothing.,, but then she starts singing and explodes. Even if you don't fancy girls, like me, it's still really cute to see a small Asian girl dance around in her undies and scream". - Rock On London

While only the tin-eared would deny that Skin Graft delivers the goods when it comes to musical meatiness, our lauded label is never one to skimp on presentation either. From its origins packing 7" vinyl records with illuminating comic sleeves to the packaging powerhouses of the present, Skin Graft's frantic followers are forever fawning and flailing, earnestly endeavoring to figure just what frankly fabulous fashions the forthcoming formats will be wearing.

After weeks of intense study, research and poll taking, the marketing mavericks up top determined that when it comes to sure fire sell-through, the picky populace prone to picking up our pulse-pounding productions have a perennial preference for one particular packaging process. That's right, Jazzy's talkin' about METAL! Not the long-haired, head-banging variety, as the swift-selling HIGH ON FIRE / RUINS split 7" and comic set would seem to attest, but metal of the earthen alloy variety, as graced the sleeves of the long-lauded, solidly sold-out debut US Maple LP.

So in answer to those seasoned Skin Graft sophisticates, PRE's "Epic Fits" comes correct in no less than FOUR flavorful editions! A standard jewel cased CD, an audio download, a gatefold vinyl LP and a Limited Edition Embossed Metal Box CD! The Limited First Edition CD includes a Fold-out poster sleeve, "I Love You Shitmouth" insert, a hand- numbered wraparound obi and a magnificent metal box each individually embossed with PRE's loony logo! Limited to only 1,250 copies, these are such surefire collectors-items, that we've already packaged them in a resealable polybag to keep your copy minty fresh in the years to come! Jazzy fearlessly forecasts that this limited edition will be worth MILLIONS in no time at all!!! Best ask dad for an advance on your allowance so you can buy ten or twenty copies right away - so we... -er... YOU can prepare for that early retirement right now!

For more info, visit PRE's brand spanking new website HERE. This multi-media stronghold of magnificence has been fortified with a multitude of MP3's, a veritable vestige of Videos, fab Photos, timely Tour Dates, and plenty of other info on London's loud-brow leaders of the Now-School of Hard Rocks! PRE will be touring the USA this October. Dates are at the TOURS page and at the aforementioned PRE website HERE!

"Dressed in basketball jerseys, short shorts, and knee socks, and with flowing manes held back by terrycloth sweatbands, Athletic Automaton command attention through the sheer force of their personality before they even pick up their instruments. As a duo, they add up to something rather deadly, like a seventies-era gym class gone somehow horribly wrong. Or maybe horribly right. - Skyscraper

On their second full-length album "A Journey Through Roman's Empire" ATHLETIC AUTOMATON devolve without diminishing. Songs and instrumentation alike have been reduced to key components, stripped bare of pretense until only the core remains; evaporating the distance between listener and band.

This is
minimalism set on heavy and trance gone sour. While deceptively simple and repetitive, the music is never rigid, never complacent or familiar. Alternately a swirl of precision, and a countercurrent of resistance, Athletic Automaton are unafraid to find virtue in the accidental, while remaining purposeful and determined.

Here, Donald Duck riffs dribble past sprinting rhythms - and asthmatic guitars swarm landscapes that bark back in opposition.
"A Journey Through Roman's Empire" is a psychedelic coliseum of reverse intonation, rooted in Pittsburgh circa 1972, an audio sport the likes of which has never been heard before.


o "Calisthenics become repetitive exercises of sonic torture, as the sweaty duo engages in musical drills designed to sap the energy of even the most fit and healthy listener" - Dusted Magazine

o "Athletic Automaton is making my palms (and ears) sweat as we speak... Their riffs and grooves are minimal, the lyrics occasional, and the tension they wield - a most welcome constant." - Skyscraper

Take it from Jazzy friends, ATHLETIC AUTOMATON's "A Journey Through Roman's Empire" delivers the dynamic drone and din you've been pining for. The sleeve includes eye-illuminating artwork by Seripop (Yannick and Chloe of AIDS Wolf) and it's up for orders now. An import vinyl edition is in the works from Spain's Trece Grabaciones. We expect to have it available late October, but we're not going to take orders for that 'til we have them firmly in hand. We'll keep you posted. For even more on Athletic Automaton, visit their newly opened BAND page HERE (and check out the next item below)!

Both PRE "Epic Fits" and ATHLETIC AUTOMATON "A Journey Through Roman's Empire" are in-stock and shipping now. For online ordering, visit the SKiN GRAFT PAYPAL SHOP. For check & money order instructions, go to the CATALOG Page. To get an advance earful, we direct you to the SKiN GRAFT AUDIO page for an absolutely FREE download low down!

ITEM! On the sour side of the news, ATHLETIC AUTOMATON have released their Fall injury report and the news is disheartening indeed. While guitar forward Stephen Mattos' is back on active duty (status upgraded from "questionable" last month), his teammate has not fared as well. On doctor's orders, percussionist Patrick Samson is being sidelined for the remainder of the 2007 season. Pat suffered multiple injuries in the band's exhibition game last month, enduring a laundry list of damage - but the most devastating was the harm done to his hands.

In an exclusive interview with the Ballpeen Bulletins, Pat had this to say: "I had a nerve test last Friday and it's been confirmed that the problem is severe in my right hand and moderate in the left." In an effort to get back in the game, Pat's taken immediate action - having seen seen a chiropractor, a massage therapist, a physical therapist, an orthopedic neurologist and an acupuncturist. "The only one that's really helped is the acupuncturist. He's at least gotten me to where I can sleep through a whole night - before I could only sleep for about three hours, then I'd wake up with this excruciating pain from my elbows to my fingertips". A true competitor, Pat has this to say, "I really want to get back out there and play, but right now, practicing will only make matters worse. Regretfully I'm going to have to sit out the rest of the season. It bums me out so much that I cant even let myself think about it." Once he's recovered, have no doubt Pat will be back up and swinging with the best of them.

On the other hand (pun not intended) there is some great news from the Athletic Automaton camp, even though Pat is benched for the time being, he's got plenty to celebrate on the sidelines. We're proud to announce that as of August 8th, Pat is the proud father of Miss Elleana Matilda Crump. Everyone here wishes Pat and Heather all of the best - word is she's got a heckuva set of lungs on her and we may just see her fronting a band here at Skin Graft in the years to come!

So with Pat begrudgingly out of active duty for the rest of the year, what's teammate Stephen Mattos going to do during Athletic Automaton's unexpected off-season? We've got your answer below...!

ITEM! In support of the raw, rabble-rousing ruckus of RUINS "Refusal Fossil: Special Edition" (see the previous updates) Tatsuya Yoshida is coming back to the states under the moniker RUINS alone. Yoshida will be performing select dates all over the USA, but those out east are in for a special treat as RUINS alone teams up with none other than MADE IN MEXICO for a series of scintillating shows that's sure to send synapses spiraling in delight. And as a special treat, none other than ATHLETIC AUTOMATON's Stephen Mattos will be filling in on bass duties for a number of Made In Mexico's appearances! That's right- Steve is reuniting with fellow ARAB ON RADAR guitarist Jeff Schneider - and the two will be sharing the stage for the first time since AOR disbanded many moons ago! For sideways rock fans these shows are not to be missed - and you can bet that Made In Mexico will be giving audiences a preview of what's to come on their upcoming album, slated for release next year. What's the word? Early ears report that 1978 New York No Wave + 2007 Venezuelan Reggaeton = Made in Mexico 2008 -!!?!! Visit the TOURS page for a complete listing of MADE IN MEXICO and RUINS alone dates!

ITEM! And if the shows by MADE IN MEXICO, PRE and RUINS alone weren't enough, AIDS Wolf is preparing to take to the road in a big way this Fall. With nearly two months of shows piled high on their plate, a generous hunk of North America is finally going to get to see the band in action. And how's this for a tidbit - while the band is jaunting around the USA, they'll be paying our old pal Weasel Walter (of Flying Luttenbachers and Lake Of Dracula fame) a visit. Seems wily Weasel is on deck to record AIDS Wolf's new album tentatively titled "Cities of Glass" and rocketing your way next year! Jazzy's already embarked on an extreme finger calisthenic regimen in order to dish the delish on this one! So watch this space!

With so many artists criss-crossing the USA at once, it may seem inevitable that their paths would cross... but there's nothing inevitable about it. See - this is a crass, craftily calculated move designed to lend some chaos to the College Music Journals' annual CMJ Music Marathon!

The SKiN GRAFT offering will take place Friday, October 19th at New York City's esteemed Knitting Factory in cooperation with our equally esteemed partners in crime Blue Ghost Publicity, Lovepump United and Panache Booking. Representing Skin Graft is an international line-up of noise-makers including MADE IN MEXICO (USA), AIDS Wolf (Canada), RUINS alone (Japan) and PRE (United Kingdom). Previously scheduled acts YOWIE and ATHLETIC AUTOMATON have had to back out, but those super-sized slippers are filled by no less than 12 more astonishing acts - all taking to the Knitting Factory's three stages in one single night! In addition to the aforementioned bands, the other acts include: YIP YIP, OLD TIME RELIJUN, JAPANTHER, SIGHTINGS, Aa, THE APES, HEALTH, SHELLSHAG, MONOTONIX, DYNASTY HANDBAG, WIZARDZZ and THE MALL. Even Skin Graft's own Mark Fischer will be flying in from the Vienna's cheateu du Graft for the event. Tickets are dirt cheap and can be purchased in advance by visiting the Knitting Factory's website HERE - and if you're an AIDS Wolf fan with a Cell Phone, Star Trek Phaser or Dick Tracy wristwatch, you can save $5.00 off of the ticket price by texting the secret code "AIDS" to 467467 via Shop Text. See the Knitting Factory's website for details!

Alrighty chums, that's a solid 2,500 words of reporting and Jazzy's got to come up for air. But before he goes, he has one last bit of news on a record that seems to be causing quite a ruckus on several continents. In Mark's report last month, he mentioned a mysterious email that had been forwarded Skin Graft's way - concerning what appeared to be a solicitation for a split 7" from PRE and AIDS WOLF originating out of Eastern Europe. Thanks to Skin Graft's Austrian allies at TROST distribution, Skin Graft is in the process of confiscating these illegal records, which we can now confirm are the work of the long dormant SINRAFT bootleg label. In addition to two live songs from each act, the sleeves contain photographs of both bands that could be considered "compromising". Jazzy has indeed seen scans of the 8 page sleeve in question - and the term he would use is "hot", but nevertheless, SKiN GRAFT's legal eagles are considering just what the label's course of action will be - and Mark is discussing it with the bands. It looks likely that the entire pressing will be destroyed before any reputations can be sullied, but you'll find a bit more information on the PRE/ AIDS Wolf 7" at the aforementioned PRE website HERE. As soon as a decision is made, you can bet your bottom that Jazzy will let you know the verdict!

'Til then, keep your head in the clouds and keep reaching for the stars - Arrivederci Amigos!





updated: August 3rd, 2007

Hi Everybody,

News Desk Reporter Jazzy Joe Romita is helping Dave pack orders today, so this is Mark writing again with a few updates. I'm only one cup of coffee into the morning so far, so bear with me...

ITEM! An advance MP3 of
Hands Without Feet from ATHLETIC AUTOMATON's upcoming album "A Journey Through Roman's Empire" has been added to the AUDIO page. Recorded at Machines With Magnets in Providence, the album sounds great - I can't wait for you guys to hear it. It's fearless - everything in Steve and Pat's approach on their previous recordings has been taken up or down a notch, depending on how you look at it (listen to it?). From the official solicitation: "This is minimalism set on heavy and trance gone sour. While deceptively simple and repetitive, the music is never rigid, never complacent or familiar. Alternately a swirl of precision, and a countercurrent of resistance, Athletic Automaton are unafraid to find virtue in the accidental, while remaining purposeful and determined". The CD will be available on September 18th and there will be a vinyl import LP version made in cooperation with our pals at Spain's Trece Grabaciones. The vinyl will probably lag behind the release of the CD just a bit. We expect to have it up for orders in October.

ITEM! Live shows have been updated at the TOURS page. Information is incomplete on a lot of the routings and quite a few dates have yet to be confirmed, but it'll give you a good idea of who is planning to be where through 2007.

In honor of the release of RUINS "Refusal Fossil: Special Edition" (Details in a previous update) Tatsuya Yoshida will be performing as RUINS alone in CANADA this September for a few shows, including two sets at the Montreal Prog Rock Festival and a show with AIDS Wolf in Ottawa. Then RUINS alone will be coming over to the USA in October, visit the
TOURS page for more info!

And in more breaking news, KOENJIHYAKKEI has been invited to perform at NEARfest, North America's legendary Progressive Rock Festival next June! You can see the announcement HERE.

ITEM! Postal rates in the United States skyrocketed last May. We've kept our mailorder prices the same ever since, but we simply have to make some adjustments. Shipping internationally has become much more expensive, so effective Monday, August 6th our new shipping rates overseas will change. They have already been posted on the catalog page HERE.

In many cases (especially vinyl orders) this is still going to be less than our actual cost to ship - we really value our overseas supporters, and being a European myself these days, I'll do everything I can to keep our records affordable for all of you outside of the United States. On the bright side (?), the US Dollar is very weak these days (Today's Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is 1.00 EURO = 1.37 USD), so even with postage hike, pound for pound and yen for yen, our mailorder prices are a bargain, so no apologies. Our base price of $12.00 for a standard CD will remain the same for a while longer and shipping is still free to both the United States and Canada.

ITEM! Band submissions: It's silly to have them go to the USA since I'm in Europe. If you want to send a submission in, send it direct to Vienna. Details have been updated in the CONTACT page. Please understand that the label gets an awful lot of submissions every week and I get even more emails about submissions on top of that (Especially now that the My Space page is going). Nothing is more flattering than having bands want to be on the label, but I can't keep up with it. My suggestion to bands interested in joining the label is to play shows with one of the established band's on the label. If you make an impression on them, it will likely get back to me. For example: POINT LINE PLANE (RIP - more on that next time) was referred to the label by CHEER-ACCIDENT and PRE came recommended by AIDS WOLF.

And speaking of them...

ITEM! The image to the right was anonymously emailed to Skin Graft on Monday. I haven't gotten a response from the sender and neither PRE, AIDS WOLF or anyone here know exactly what we're looking at (though we have our suspicions). If you can shed any light on this, please drop us a line.

Thanks everybody,



updated: July 24th, 2007
BRISE-GLACE "When In Vanitas..."
vinyl LP

BRISE-GLACE "When In Vanitas.." CD's and the "In Sisters All And Felony" 7" and comic sets are still available. Brise-Glace also appears on the SIDES 1-4 double 7" and comic set with Shellac, US Maple and Big'n.

A few disappointed emails have already come in from people concerned that they didn't get an email notifying them of the sale.
Last June, we switched to a new email mailing list provider (that thing up above). All of the then current subscribers were sent an email notifying them of the switch but it was necessary to click a link in the email to re-confirm your subscription. If you did not do this you were dropped from the mailing list. Please understand, I have no control over this - it is the policy of our email list provider in effort to cut down on spam.

If you did not get the email, all you have to do is re-subscribe through our website up top and
then you MUST click the link in the confirmation email you receive for your subscription to be accepted.

Here's one more sale before summer ends...

"Riddler" CD

YOU FANTASTIC!: Thymme and Darin enjoyed playing together so much in BRISE-GLACE that they started YOU FANTASTIC! and kept things going with Tim Garrigan of Dazzling Killmen. Operating in much the same vein as Brise-Glace (but different...), the "Riddler" CDEP was their debut - 10 riddles wrapped up in a Serious / Curious Brown cover. Regular price is $9.00 postpaid - but they're up now for $7.25 postpaid. Some of the jewel cases are cracked, so these may ship in a paper sleeve and you'll have to provide your own case. Sale ends August 20th.

After you give "Riddler" a few listens straight through, it's one of the few CD's that really "works" when played using the shuffle option on your CD player. I drew the cover art for this one up myself - it makes a great conversation piece when sitting on the coffee table. You can read (not much, though) about YOU FANTASTIC! "Riddler" HERE, photos are HERE and an MP3 of the CD's opener "Riddler 1" - has just been added to the Audio Page HERE.

To order, visit the SKiN GRAFT PAYPAL SHOP.

Coming next time - some info on ATHLETIC AUTOMATON - plus some RUINS (alone) shows in the USA (and not just NYC and Chicago this time!)!



updated: July 23rd, 2007
warehouse find:
"When In Vanitas..." vinyl LP

hey look...!
We've uncovered a small box of the original pressing of the BRISE-GLACE "When In Vanitas.." LP! The vinyl sold out immediately upon release, but this little batch was returned to us from a European distributor because they had been damaged during shipment. The sleeves all have a small bend in one of the four corners, but they are still in the original shrinkwrap and are otherwise like new. We have a very limited supply and will sell them 'til they're gone for $12.00 each. BRISE-GLACE was the band formed by Jim O'Rourke along with Darin Gray (Dazzling Killmen, You Fantastic!, Grand Ulena), Thymme Jones (Cheer-Accident, You Fantastic!) and Dylan Posa (Cheer-Accident, The Flying Luttenbachers). Jim, Darin and Thymme would also go on to team up with Zeni Geva's K.K. Null to record the YONA-KIT album. You can read about BRISE-GLACE HERE, photos are HERE and an MP3 can be found in the MP3 Archive at the Audio page HERE.

The CD of "When In Vanitas..." is also available, as is the BRISE-GLACE "In Sisters All And Felony" 7" and comic book set which contains 2 non-LP tracks. To order, visit the SKiN GRAFT Paypal Shop HERE.

A N N O U N C I N G :
PRE "Epic Fits"
Limited First Edition CD
release date: September 18th, 2007

PRE "Epic Fits" Limited First Edition CD includes:
Embossed Metal Box , Fold-out poster sleeve, "I Love You Shitmouth" insert, and an individually numbered wraparound obi. Packaged in a resealable poly-bag.
Edition of 1,250. Up for pre-orders soon.

PRE will be touring the USA this October. Dates are HERE.

and also...
Despite Jazzy's good intentions in his previous update, we are going to have to make some adjustments to our shipping charges on orders going overseas soon. So if you'd like to do a large order with the flat $9.95 world shipping rate, please get your orders in soon.

updated: July 9th, 2007

???? ( first look)
- More info coming soon -
In the meantime, enjoy THIS VIDEO for "And Prolapse"...
PRE "Epic Fits" out this September.


updated: June 21st, 2007

Salütes Sound Seekers ( ! )
SKiN GRAFT's Ace Reporter, "Jazzy" Joe Romita here with another staggering summary of the frankly phenomenal feats fathered at the famed fount of flabbergast... the forever favored, far-from faddish, far-flung frontiersmen of the fashionable Fort SKiN GRAFT!!!! Face front, frenzied ones!!!!


vv Important announcement!
vv Refusal Fossil (Special Edition)!
vv Remixed, Remastered and five additional tracks!


vv Turbo Mattress - Transparent!
Read all about it!
vv Destroy All Music Revisited & Listen To Your Left Brain

vv Update on new album!
vv Three-pieced back together!
vv Poo Poo the Grammy's - howabout a Quebecy?
vv Prices not going up yet!
vv First look at the upcoming COVER ART!

Greetings gang, Jazzy Joe here with the unenviable task of pumping some uppers into the downers reported here of late. Fortunately, your devote discord dealer and his pop gun are both loaded, the latter with just the ammunition needed to set your mood swinging and spin that frown upside-down!

First things first - We open with an important announcement! Skin Graft Records has switched to a new email mailing list provider. Current subscribers have been sent an email notifying them of the switch and it is necessary to click the link in the email to re-confirm your subscription (if the link isn't working, then copy & paste it into your browser). If you don't re-confirm, you'll be dropped from the mailing list - - - and will have to re-subscribe above (all the way to the top of this page!) to continue receiving word of Jazzy's wondrous writings. (NOTE: Subscribing above will ALSO send a confirmation email to your address, so you'll have a link to click in that email too). Also please be aware that the send address has changed from mark(at)skingraftrecords.com to news(at)skingraftrecords.com, so set those spam blockers accordingly!

And now, let's cut to the chase and commence to brightening that face. RUINS and The CHINESE STARS are in stock, unfurled and flat out ready to rock your world. Press Magnate, Charlie Nite please enlight, all right?

ITEM! Japan's RUINS have extensive experience and a tireless commitment! A furious barrage of explosive and intricately composed drum(s) and bass (guitar), Ruins cover all stops between hardcore's hysteric intensity, metal's pummeling dynamics and the confounding inscription of progressive rock. No slack. No slop. Absolute masters of quick change, stop-start tempos and time-signatures, Ruins craft an unprecedented amalgam of originality, all sung in a peculiar language of their own invention.

The first album to feature bassist Sasaki Hisashi, "Refusal Fossil (Special Edition)" reissues the long out of print "Refusal Fossil" full length, plus five additional tracks, all remixed and remastered by the band's Yoshida Tatsuya (of Koenjihyakkei too, but you know that already!). Also featuring a host of guest musicians from Japan avant scene (including Yamamoto Seiichi of Boredoms), "Refusal Fossil (Special Edition)" boasts an astounding twenty-five cuts in all: An hour-plus blast of zig-zag calisthenics!

"Fiendish and crazed, Ruins explore string-popping ideas only to degenerate into complex whirlpools of distortion, then regroup into a new version of their original idea with surprising grace. Ruins grow on you like a cancerous cell, and are killer." - CMJ

RUINS "Refusal Fossil (Special Edition)" is up for orders now, and it's joined by...

EM! Hitching a ride on the steamrollering new album from THE CHINESE STARS, "Listen To Your Left Brain" (read about it in the previous updates), Skin Graft proudly re-presents the band's debut CD "Turbo Mattress" in a new edition. Previously available as a "weaponized, Chinese throwing star - shaped CD", "Turbo Mattress" was quick to sell, but also proved problematic for those wishing to play the disc in front feed CD players, CD changers or darn near anything other than a tray loading disc player. So for this new edition, Turbo Mattress has been pressed on a transparent CD - maintaining the illusion of a Chinese throwing star with the added bonus of being playable on all CD players and drives!

Formed from the charred remains of Arab On Radar and Six Finger Satellite, Turbo Mattress is the Chinese Stars' most abrasive, harsh recording, harkening back to the members' previous acts while laying the groundwork for the band's signature disjunct new wave sound. Christened after the "Chinese Star Epidemic" of the early 80's which found legions of grade school kids across America armed with "shuriken" throwing stars, the band pledge to follow in this tradition: terrorizing parents, authority figures and the psyche of the free world.

"The music on their Skin Graft debut, Turbo Mattress, keeps the beats as jerky as a racecar driver with the e-brake on, with guitar noise as jumper cables and Paul's surreal lyrics as a hallucinogen, take note." - The Stranger

Both the RUINS and CHINESE STARS are in-stock and preview MP3's are now playing at the SKiN GRAFT AUDIO page. Along with five additional tracks not found on the the original "Refusal Fossil", the RUINS CD comes complete with additional artwork in a unique center-gatefold CD booklet, while THE CHINESE STARS CD is a picky packaging connoisseurs' delight. For check & money order instructions, go to the CATALOG Page, or lighten your wallet pronto by clicking your way to the PAYPAL Shop!

ITEM! And before we move on, no respectable rant would be complete without a plug for our other knee numbing new releases - The FLYING LUTTENBACHERS "Destroy All Music Revisited" CD and The CHINESE STARS "Listen To Your Left Brain" LP, not to mention the new QUINTRON "Jamskate" vinyl EP and limited restock of KOENJIHYEKKEI's "Live At Doors" DVD! Read all about them in the previous update BELOW!!!

ITEM! BEHIND THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT part 1: MADE IN MEXICO: In this week's update, your frankly fabulous philanthrope had intended to announce MADE IN MEXICO's second LP as rollicking your way this Fall, but word comes from MIM that they can't stop the music quite yet!! As the intended finishing touches were being applied to the album, the floodgates opened and suddenly the band was once again awash in inspiration! So, release schedule be damned, MIM's second is now penciled in for early 2008 to accommodate even more writing, refining and recording for an unparalleled reveal! Best wire your mouth shut NOW, cause when MIM's next album comes into bloom next year, jaws will be dropping left and right!

ITEM! BEHIND THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT part 2: YOWIE: At times it looked like YOWIE's search for the link gone missing when guitarist Jeremiah Wonsewitz vacated the premises would prove to be as elusive as the hunt for their hypothetical namesake. But your premier purveyor of poundcake is positively pimply pink to report that at long last, the ideal link has been forged (!), and Yowie is once again a three-piece!!! The identity of the 3rd member is being kept under lock and key at Cryptozoologist Heady McDoogan's subterranean stronghold for the time being, but believe you me, when word comes arriving, you can bet all of Graftdom assembled will be jabber-jiving, high five-ing, and stage diving over this much-anticipated Yowie reviving! Not familiar with YOWIE? Then surf thee immediately to the PAYPAL Shop because Jazzy Joe has convinced the eggheads up top to put it on SALE for a limited time!!!! A bundle of bucks are off - only $9.95 postpaid to the USA & Canada! Cryptidious Reserectus!

Hot Dog! It's time for the Quebec Music Awards! And sure enough, none other than Aids Wolf vs Athletic Automaton's "Clash of the Life-Force Warriors" LP/CD has been nominated for the title of Best Experimental Album - and YOU, even non-Quebecian's, can participate in the vote!!! Albums released between July 1st, 2006 and May 31st, 2007 by Quebec independent artists were considered for the competition, and to meet eligibility requirements, Steve and Pat of Athletic Automaton have renounced their US citizenship. Those gym-dandy short shorts and striped socks aren't just for show people - AA are REAL competitors! The public vote counts for 50% of the final result, with the other half being made up of Journalists, Producers, Special Events Coordinators, Record Shop Owners and select members of the East Montreal Dungeons and Dragons Society. Voting ends one minute before midnight on Saturday June 30th, so don't delay - click HERE to let your finger be heard!

the CO$T of GIVING
ITEM! As many of our stateside shoppers are already well aware, Uncle Sam has jacked postage prices WAY UP, making the cost to deliver those glorious Graft goods to your Garden of Eden considerably more costly than just a scant few weeks back. This coupled with the ever-rising costs of everything from bubble mailers to sticky tape has taken such a big bite out of your lauded label's bottom line that even we're starting to feel the pinch on our plentiful posterior. But, we here at Camp Skin Graft are committed to keeping those soothing sounds as affordable as we're inhumanly able... So- for the time being, we're holding the line on our prices, even as our distinguished competitors up their ante to absorb that inflationary irritant. The sole change we are forced to make immediately is this: The flat shipping rate for an overseas package is raising $1.00, from $8.95 to $9.95 - still the best deal going, particularly for those multiple item orders. Prices remain postpaid in the USA and Canada. I can hear you now... "Oh Thank you, Generous Jazzy. How can I do my part to battle those inflaming inflationary evils and help keep those glorious Graft prices down"? Thanks for asking kimosabe! We know that money is tight, but next time you're at your favorite record store - or ready to click through that paypal order, consider adding yet another titanic title from our classy catalog of curiosity's to your prized purchase. It'll add a bit of cushion to our hard-bitten hind-end and best of all, you'll award yourself with even more Graft greatness. Don't you deserve it? Who says this isn't the Skin Graft age of straight talkin' sell through?

Okay, Dokays - Jazzy Joe's time is up. But before I attend to trailblazing - here's a first look at the cover art for the Fall's frankly fabulous full lengths from Athletic Automaton and Pre! Forks down! Feast your eyes upon ATHLETIC AUTOMATON's simply stellar sophomore soundscape "A Journey Through Roman's Empire" as daringly drawn by our principal pals at Seripop. And set your gaze to the right to drink in the eye candy of PRE's debut full length "Epic Fits"!

But you aint seen it all yet... Here at the Skin Graft compound, the hot air has been blowing something fierce - Jazzy's caught wind of a limited first edition of PRE's digital debut in a package so deluxe, it threatens to rival U.S. Maple's metal sleeved "Long Hair" LP for sheer suaveness and collectible dexterity!

More on that next time... for now, let me leave you with this immortal aphorism first uttered by homeboy Chuck Chan of Honolulu...:

"Nut that is easy to crack, often empty".




updated: June 2nd, 2007

( ! ) NOW SHIPPING ( ! )
Destroy All Music Revisited CD (GR85CD)

A new special edition of the greatest album from the "punk-jazz quintet" line-up (with Ken Vandermark, Dylan Posa, etc) remixed and remastered, with seven never before heard bonus cuts and a retrospective fold-out booklet. Swank.
Listen To Your Left Brain LP (GR86LP)

You know 'em, you love 'em. Here, the band set in motion a tsunami of new waves: a fast, forward audio movement, taking music back to the base pleasures.

No sell out.
CD also available

Beginning in June, Skin Graft Records will be switching to a new email mailing list provider (that thing up above). Current subscribers will receive an email notifying them of the switch and it will be necessary for you to click a link in the email to re-confirm your subscription. If you don't do this you'll be dropped from the mailing list and will have to re-subscribe through the website.


Hi Everyone,

This is Mark writing again. Unfortunately, the Chinese Stars have had to call off their tour at the last minute due to illness. Everyone is terribly disappointed they won't get to see you this time around - and hope to be able to rescedule the shows at a later date.

Okay - Jazzy Joe will be back next time with some good news!


updated: May 24th, 2007

...Our Friend Bill Pisarri...

Hi Everyone,

This is Mark writing. This is the most horrible news update I've ever had to write. Bill Pisarri, best known to you guys as the bass player of The Flying Luttenbachers on the "Revenge" and "Gods Of Chaos" albums, has passed away. He died of a heart attack.

This has come as a shock to everyone that knew him. I'm struggling to wrap my head around this... but I want share with you what Bill meant to me... and I think it's indicative if what he meant to so many others.

Bill was a genuine friend and an inspiration. He was full of energy and ideas - a remarkably talented artist, musician, filmmaker and performer - who was always extremely generous with his time. His involvement in Skin Graft was significant and went way beyond the role of a typical member in a typical band on a typical record label. His work in the Flying Luttenbachers has been well documented, and as much as I love what Weasel has done (and continues to do) with the various incarnations of the band - the Trio with Weasel, Chuck and Bill will always be my favorite.

Bill was a great graphic artist - in the fine art sense. His artwork on the Gods Of Chaos CD set a high water mark for albums designed on this or any other record label. The fold out front cover was a huge, incredible cut and paste collage with only the gentlest of retouching in Photoshop. Up close and personal, it was a real sight to see.

There was a time in the mid-to-late 90's where Bill played a big part in the construction of the artwork for many Skin Graft releases. At the time, I didn't have a computer set up that could handle designing albums in-house, but Bill and his roommate Colm did. Bill designed Colossamite's Economy of Motion LP, and assisted me in assembling many others, including the original pressing of Ruins "Refusal Fossil", You Fantastic! "Homesickness", and the Camp Skin Graft "Now Wave" compilation, which also featured an incredibly cool track by Bill's solo project ZZZZZ.

I spent many, many days and nights at Bill's apartment working on cover art with him during this period, And all throughout our "work" we would goof off and talk about our favorite topics. With Bill there was never an uncomfortable silence because there was always so much to talk about - everything from obscure comic artists to even more obscure musicians, "art" - was always a favorite topic - and movies, everything from Japanese Monster mashes to French New Wave Cinema.

Even more unknown to most is Bill's work on the Skin Graft Oops indoors shows. Bill was a key player in our Oops Theater Group, which would perform all kinds of theatrical bits and stunts throughout an evening of bands. He played lots of different roles over the years and was a big participant in generating the ideas behind the skits. He also created the costumes for the two "Mighty Fucking Robots" - I still have the cardboard heads of each with me here. One night Bill dressed up as "Grampa", set up in a corner of the now defunct club Lounge Ax, and berated attendees to sit and have their portrait drawn. When Grampa would finally corral a willing customer, the portrait was always unflattering to the subject, but even moreso to Grampa. Grampa was up there in years and he couldn't see very well. His hand was shaky and the portraits would never come out quite as Grampa had planned. He played the character perfectly.

But as much as I loved the character of Grampa, my favorite Bill Pisarri creation was his "Swami". The Swami played a pivotal role in an entire series of Oops theater sketches performed in various cities. The scenario involved a character called Pete Panty Monster and Pete's inner struggle to rise above his addictions - with guidance provided by the Swami and Straight-Edge Santa. Rather than go into detail on the story, I think it's enough to say that Bill's Swami was hilarious. No matter how tightly we plotted the storyline, when performing the stuff live, the actors would always have to deal with the unexpected. Bill would often have to improvise his way through difficult situations and no matter what happend, he'd never break character. He'd somehow find a way to make it a memorable moment.

After awhile, we retired the Oops Theater Group, the Luttenbachers trio that Bill was a part of disbanded, and I finally got a computer to handle album layouts on my own. In 2000, I moved away from Chicago and since then have lived between St. Louis and Vienna, so I haven't seen terribly much of Bill in the last few years. But through it all, he remained a part of this label. Bill had been working in advertising and focusing on filmmaking. If through these avenues an opportunity came his way that he thought might benefit Skin Graft, Bill would always take the time to share it with me. He often let me know how proud he was of his association with this label. And that meant the world to me.

I last saw Bill about a year ago, when I returned to Chicago for a Skin Graft art show. Bill came to meet me and brought me a DVD full of his short films and copies of other things he thought I'd appreciate - the 70's Marvel TV production of Dr. Strange, the Sam Raimi/Bruce Campbell Pre-Evil Dead films, and a copy of Stuart Gordon's From Beyond. He had borrowed a stack of Kamandi comic books from me years ago and remembered to return them (all in excellent condition by the way!). Bill was the kind of guy that even if we hadn't spoken in months or seen each other in years - there was never any awkwardness - we'd always pick up right where we left off.

After years of "we have to do it" talk, just last month Bill and I spoke again about buckling down and assembling the old Skin Graft Oops indoors footage with the intention of building a DVD release around it. He was also working on a Flying Luttenbachers documentary, assisting fellow filmmaker Rusty Nails on what promises to be an incredible George Romero documentary, and developing about a dozen of his own films. Every time I spoke with him he was brimming over with projects. Alive, Bill had so much to do and so little time. It seems so unfair that his time was cut short.

We're all stunned by this. I'm so sorry for his family - so sorry for his friends. And I'm so sorry for me. I won't have another chance to share wild and crazy ideas with him. I won't get to work with him again.

I miss my friend.

I'm fortunate to have known Bill. He's one of the people that really had an impact on my life. I'm fortunate that he was part of the group that huddled around Skin Graft and put so much into it, knowing all along that the financial benefits were slim - the world was just too short on nuts like us to expect much. Now, it's one nut shorter - and the world is all the worse for it.

But Bill was here - and I'm grateful he left me with some of himself that I can share with you.

Bye for now,


P.S. There's not going to be a Jazzy Joe update before the end of the month. No one is in the mood for hype right now - but you should know that The CHINESE STARS have a lot of shows coming up - and those dates and others are at the TOURS Page. The RUINS "Refusal Fossil" CD's are in and have started going out to mailorder customers. The CHINESE STARS "Turbo Mattress" Transparent CD's are due any time now, and those orders will go out as soon as we can turn them around.

I'd like to encourage you to check out the two FLYING LUTTENBACHERS trio CD's that Bill performed on: "Revenge" and "Gods Of Chaos". They are available through the paypal shop or standard mailorder. There was already an MP3 from Gods up at the AUDIO page, but I've added a sample from Revenge too. It's a favorite of mine.

Okay, Thanks again.


NEWS: MID 2006


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NEWS: WINTER 98 / 99
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